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An image of a tape measure open Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are essential for helping a business to measure its success over a long-term period. It goes without saying that every organisation should have goals. There is a saying that ‘to stand still is to go backwards’, so planning for the future is what every responsible business leader should be focused on. KPIs are used to measure a company’s progress in achieving these aims, enabling those in charge to see whether the approach they are taking is working, or whether a change of tack is needed to bring that performance back up to the level it should be at. A KPI can be anything, so long as it is quantifiable. This is because it needs to be able to be accurately measured – so it can’t be a subjective opinion as to how well the organisation is doing in working towards its goal. Similarly, the way the KPI is measured needs to be clearly defined. For example, if the goal is to ‘increase sales’, then it needs to be decided whether this is determined by the number of sales of the value of the transactions. KPIs must also reflect the organisational goals of the body that is using them. A KPI for a hospital might be ‘time patients spend waiting to be seen’, but this would not mean anything to a manufacturing company – so consider what KPIs are relevant to you, rather than using a standard set you’ve ‘borrowed’ from the internet. It is important to set KPIs at the earliest opportunity. This way, everyone knows what they are working towards and how they should be focusing their efforts to improve. Nobody likes it when targets are changed halfway through a project, so make sure the goals are achievable yet challenging, and the team responsible for them can monitor how well they are doing. For more information on the application of KPIs within your business and to learn more about this concept, why not check out our available training courses?

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